Montana Senate candidate Matt Rosendale made roughly $500,000 from the sale of his Maryland home he claimed on his federal taxes was sold at a loss, according to records reviewed by the American Ledger.

Rosendale, the state auditor and Republican candidate running to unseat Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, was fighting back criticism he had inflated his image as a Montana rancher when the Helena-based Independent Record reported on his Maryland property in April.

The newspaper reported that Rosendale and his wife, Jean, purchased a property in Queen Anne County, Md., in 1996 and Rosendale declared a loss of $57,444 on the sale of the property on his 2015 federal tax returns.

According to deeds and property records reviewed by the Ledger, the Rosendales purchased the property for $54,620 and spent $163,400 on building a house, $25,000 on another building, and thousands of dollars on fees and taxes. Altogether, they spent more than $246,000.

In February 2015, the Rosendales sold the property in two separate deeds for $750,000, netting more than $503,000.

Rosendale’s campaign did not return a message left for comment early Thursday.

The Independent Record article focused on controversy around Rosendale’s claim of Maryland residency on paperwork for the 2015 sale. His campaign said it was an error committed by the title company.

“This is a paperwork error by the title company,” Rosendale’s spokesman Shane Scanlon said. “They admit the (sic) sent the wrong form and that Matt and Jean were not the ones who improperly checked the residence box.”

Maryland residency would have allowed Rosendale to claim a tax exemption on the sale, but Rosendale’s accountant Thomas McCarthy told the Independent Record that they were still eligible for an exemption because the property was sold at a loss.


Contact Mike Stark at mstark@american-ledger.com